CM Devendra Fadnavis flags off trial run but project misses third deadline

Updated: Sep 12, 2019, 07:43 IST | Anamika Gharat | Mumbai

Officials from CIDCO, which started work on the project in May 2011, cited rain to be the main reason for delay this year

When mid-day checked, it found that hardly any work had been completed on the route
When mid-day checked, it found that hardly any work had been completed on the route

Even as Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis flagged off the first trial run of the Navi Mumbai Metro, a lot of work still remains to be completed on all the three lines of the project that has faced unprecedented delays over the past eight years. However, officials from CIDCO, which started work on the project in May 2011, cited rain to be the main reason for delay this year. They claim that the project would be completed by June 2020 — the fourth deadline set for it.

Initially, the Metro was scheduled to be completed by 2014, but later CIDCO announced that it would be done by 2018. However, in early 2018, CIDCO once again shifted the deadline to May 2019 and now it claims the work would take another year. A worker present at the Belapur Metro station said, "Work is moving slowly as we have a handful of labourers. We are hardly 10 of us here and due to rain we are being able to work only once or twice a week." A senior CIDCO official said, "The project will be completed by June 2020. Official trial runs will start by December this year and commercial operations by next year. We needed time to complete some of the work, which also faced disruptions due to the rains."

However, Dharmendra Kar, resident of Kharghar Hill, said, "I have been observing the Metro work for the past three years as I travel from Sector 35 to Belapur from underneath the Taloja-Belapur Metro bridge. The way the construction is going on, it will take another 30 years for the work to be completed. Hardly four to five people work on the stretch on most days. It's adding huge capital cost to the public exchequer as well as to people who have invested in properties near Metro lines. Another problem is the lack of public transport between Taloja and Belapur. The authorities concerned should take quick steps to finish the work."

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